It is with great sorrow that I share the news that our community has lost one of our students, Chyna Forney. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with her family and loved ones during this very difficult time.
Chyna was a senior at Albany Leadership and a bright, shining light to all who knew her. Just yesterday, I chatted with her about graduation, about where she had applied to college, and discussed her plans to enroll in a nursing program. I, and many in our ALCS community, have had the privilege of watching Chyna grow and mature over the past four years. Her transition from a bright-eyed and fun-loving freshman to a young woman with focus and determination as she charted her future was exciting to watch. Chyna was also a talented athlete. She was a leader on our indoor and outdoor track teams and planned to continue her track and field career in college.
As it happens often, particularly with our seniors, images and interactions throughout the years roll through my mind. Chyna was so full of life and plans, all of which were tragically and senselessly taken from her in a moment. We will remember Chyna’s radiant, infectious smile and personality. She will continue to shine down on us with her love and her light.
Our crisis response team and outside community providers will be available starting throughout the day today (May 4th) and will remain available for the foreseeable future to speak with students and staff who may need emotional support.
While classes have been canceled today, Tuesday, May 4th, and tomorrow, May 5th, 2021, we are here to offer support in any and every way that we can. All students will be able to come into the building to speak with the counselors any time. Counselors will be available remotely for students unable to visit the building through a virtual meeting room via the Albany Leadership Social Work Schoology page.
This news has been a shock to us all and comes at an already challenging and tense time. The range of emotions that it evokes may include sorrow, rage, disbelief, confusion, and pain. We will continue to support the family, and our community. We will continue to provide all available resources as we process our grief.
Thank you for your patience and understanding while allowing us time to process this tremendous loss.
Keep in mind, after a tragedy a child may experience similar reactions as an adult. There are a few ways adults/ parents/ guardians can help.
- Provide extra attention and comfort.
- Be open and available to talk to children about the tragedy.
- Encourage children to express their feelings through talk and play.
- Stick to regular routines.
- Set gentle, but firm limits.
- Do not expose children to adult conversations.
- Remember what you all have been through and that children may continue to feel unsafe.